Sunday, March 1, 2015

Different Strokes for Different Folks...

"The Year's Best D20 Volume One" by Monte Cook
Published by Sword and Sorcery and distributed by White Wolf
ISBN = 1-58846-798-8 - 96 pages

Generally, when I see the name "Monte Cook", I know I'm getting a good RPG product, but I think this book is a mixed bag of stuff from at least 18 other D20 books.

Chapters include:

1 - Character Classes
2 - Feats and Skills
3 - Magic
4 - Monsters
5 - Variant Rules

In chapter one - Classes, we find seven new ones - the Arcane Warrior, the Cosmographer, the Gemcaster, the Knight of Tears, the Reliquarian, the Urban Ranger, and the Yogi.  I, personally, didn't find these as appealing as I have come to expect from Monte Cook, however, they would make great NPC's.

Next, within the Feats and Skills section, there are 16 new player abilities.  I'm not going to list them all,, but I again found about half to be useful to me.

The Magic chapter primarily contains 27 new spells.  Once again, about half were usable by me.  The "Awaken Tome" could serve useful for enchanting a spellbook before the players discover it.  There are even a couple wondrous items. 

There are 23 new monsters, everything from the Arcanoplasm to the Warding Visage.  Most, if not all of these creatures would make a great one-shot adventure focus.

There are only eight new variant rules, Although short, I liked the Combat Defense maneuver.  The pages about Incantation would make your villains memorable. 

The text for all of these entries is reproduced from at least 18 different sources, and I believe that this caused the book to become a mixed bag for me.  My suggestion is that if you find a copy of this book, you should scan it to see if it would be useful enough to buy it.

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